Based on the book Antarctic Odyssey: A New Beginning
I was coming out of an acrimonious divorce that lasted two long years and I was emotionally and psychologically destroyed! I had just had the final hearing at court and all I wanted was taking time off to gather myself together again and think about my future.
At such pivotal times of our lives sometimes remarkable opportunities show up — and it is up to us to take them.
I heard of an Australian taking people to Antarctica from a friend of mine and thought I would go to the event he was talking at and check him out. I did and before I knew it, I decided to join an expedition to Antarctica!
Antarctica is a wilderness of extraordinary beauty where nature rules fiercely and unconditionally. It is a store of information about our planet’s history and one of the very few places on Earth where people of all countries live peacefully with the sole aim to improve and exchange scientific information.
This frozen paradise on Earth would be the playground of my adventure in March 2008.
I would go on a trip with Peter Bland, an Australian explorer, and Nik Halik, an Australian motivational speaker and mentor, to the Antarctic Peninsula to face my fears and limiting beliefs. I made this decision so quickly that it took me months to realize completely what I had done! I was excited and felt alive again, therefore, I was very happy after a long period of hardship where I felt my life was suspended by a legal process.
During my time in Antarctica, I did different activities and each of them made me become more aware of myself. Imagine waking up in the morning on board a relatively small ship, looking out your cabin porthole and seeing the shore of the Antarctic Peninsula. Its mountains fall abruptly into the sea with their tops covered in century old ice, so thick that the white fades into light blue, ice blue! Seals were lying at rest on the ice floating on the sea or on the cliff looking at me with curiosity, and whales were swimming alongside the ship, escorting us for some time while I was observing speechless, taken aback by their sheer grace and beauty.
How about going vertical, tackling an ice wall that was leading me to heights only limited by my stamina and resilience. As hostile as it felt, it got warmer and warmer by the time I got higher and higher; I became the wall and the wall became me, and I was suddenly becoming aware of the infinite possibilities awaiting me.
Success is the result of determination, perseverance, curiosity, passion and the ability to hold on to a vision: if I can see myself at the top, I will be able to climb smoothly and enjoy the warm, soothing and all encompassing exhilarating and satisfying feeling of victory on reaching the top.
Have you ever considered spending a night on the ice? Looking at the bright stars of the Milky Way in the Southern hemisphere in an inky black sky, listening to the silence and sounds of the wilderness and observing the thoughts passing through your mind? When I went night camping on the ice, I entered a completely different reality that I never thought could exist — and I was part of its magic.
What drives adventurers of all times? It is pushing oneself to the limit to see that extra bit of land that nobody has seen before, to sail on that part of the sea where no seafarer has ventured before, to listen to the ultimate sound that mother Nature creates only in particular conditions and in a specific part of the globe, to conquer the top of that mountain that is so high that fellow humans didn’t even dare to look at it, because they thought it was unreachable and the seat of the gods.
The ultimate quest is to stretch one’s limits, see what is beyond everything else and discover one’s inner guide and wisdom. My hope is that other women like me will dare to think and do the impossible, to show themselves that they too can do it!